This program is no longer offered. View more programs from VolunQuest.
Teach English in the Public Schools of Isla Mujeres, Mexico-- CLOSED
86% Rating
(14 Reviews)

Teach English in the Public Schools of Isla Mujeres, Mexico-- CLOSED

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from VolunQuest.

VolunQuest is proud to be the only private organization that allows volunteers to participate as teachers in the public school systems in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Our volunteer teachers teach the national English curriculum to students during regular school hours, and work alongside the full time teachers of Isla Mujeres. Addionally, VolunQuest incorporates the University of Cambridge Young Learner's curriculum into the curriculum, with the goal to certify qualified students in language proficiency.

All of our volunteers go through a professional teacher training and Spanish language course, are supervised, given access to materials and resources, as well as are provided with a letter of participation from the Secretary of Education. This is a unique opportunity for volunteers to gain invaluable experience and references, all while seeing that they are committing themselves to a project that is truly sustainable and making a real difference in the community.

SPECIAL OFFERS:
  • - 1 Free Week for new teachers: volunteer for our 4-week program from July 21st - August 15th for the cost of a 3-week package.
  • - 2 Free Weeks for experienced teachers: volunteer for our 4-week program from July 21st - August 15th for the cost of a 2-week package.
Locations
North America » Mexico » Isla Mujeres
North America » Mexico
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
1 Year+
Language
English
Housing
Apartment
Host Family
Starting Price
$0.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
All of our packages include roundtrip transportation to and from the airport, seven hours of one of one Spanish language lessons, a 20 hour training and observation course, home stay, meals, materials, access to the teachers lounge and WiFi, an ID card that allows for local discounts, 24 hour emergency support, tour of the island, and a monetary donation to the project.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    89%
  • Support
    82%
  • Fun
    84%
  • Value
    81%
  • Safety
    93%

Program Reviews (14)

Default avatar
Jordan
Female
21 years old
Ledyard
University of Maine- Orono (main campus)

Teaching English in ISla

10/10

I went to Isla as part of a class, having not traveled outside the US much before and it was an amazing experience. I got to teach English in a classroom as a head teacher while also having the vacation of a lifetime. The island is a great vacation location and so after teaching in the morning then lesson planning for a couple hours the rest of the day was up to me to do what I wanted. The beaches are amazing and so I would love to just go to the beach after class. Then there were tons of options for dinner and a great nightlife. For the actual teaching, the kids seem interested and I was teaching at a preschool and playing games with the kids while teaching really set me up for activities I will do in my future career. I would recommend this to anyone who loves teaching!

Default avatar
Carlee
Female
23 years old
Nashville, TN
University of Tennessee- Knoxville

Best Experience Ever!

10/10

Throughout my time at Volunquest, I received the best experience of my life! I made great friends and contributed so much to the surrounding community. Before traveling to the beautiful island of Isla Mujeres, I had zero teaching experience. Throughout the program, I impacted the lives of over 800 students by teaching them everyday and am now certified to teach ESL anywhere in the world. One of the great things about the program is truly seeing the impact made every day in your students. The people of this very small island depend on the program for English in tourism, as tourism is the driving force of the economy on the island. Not only did I feel great about giving back to the community, but I got to experience so much of the Mexican culture and improve my Spanish. Additionally, the program allows for plenty of free time to explore the Yucatan as there are many three day weekends and holidays during the school year. Another thing unique to this program is that I got to teach multiple grades, teaching 1st-6th grade. This program is great because it is mutually beneficial for the students as well as the intern.

Default avatar
J
Female
26 years old
Godalming

Live and teach English on a Caribbean Island in Mexico

10/10

Working with VolunQuest has been an incredible, eye-opening experience which I believe I have gained so much from.

Living within the local community of Isla Mujeres, teaching English to the children in the public schools on the island, making new lifelong friends and enjoying the benefits of this beautiful island has been everything I could have hoped for and expected it to be.

VolunQuest benefits almost 2,000 children on Isla Mujeres by providing free English lessons. And the children really do appreciate your presence… the feeling when walking down the street, into your school, around a shop or anywhere else on the island and hearing the word ‘Teacher!’ whilst being greeted with a running hug from one of your students, really is one that fills you with a sense of pride.

When I was looking for an opportunity to work abroad and teach English, I loved the look of this one and am now so glad that I found it. I have not only adored working with the children and teaching them English, but I have also loved learning about myself, learning about different cultures, improving my Spanish and have completely fallen for this little island paradise.

One of the goals of the programme is “to provide an exemplary full-immersion experience abroad that mutually enriches the local community and the lives of our program participants.” And I believe that this goal is definitely met. The interns not only work together, but live together in a house provided by the government within the local community, with friendly neighbours and only a short, cheap taxi ride to anywhere you’ll need to go. I have learnt to live simply and with less than we do back at home. I feel like I have truly learnt so much, benefited from this wonderful experience and given so much back to the children and community, making a difference and would love to stay on for longer to see this programme evolve even more.

Default avatar
Kate
Female
23 years old
Stafford, Virginia
Sweet Briar College

One of the BEST volunteer experiences out there!!!

10/10

I've done a lot of volunteer work in Central America, but VolunQuest is one that has trained me to be the best global citizen. We live and work directly with the community of a small island in the Mexican Caribbean. Part of living abroad is branching out and becoming independent. VolunQuest allows you to grow as a teacher, a co-worker and an individual.
Life on a 5 mile long, ½ mile wide island called Isla Mujeres is more fulfilling than anything I've experienced before. It is about a 30 minute ferry ride from Cancun, México and is everything that an island should be; tranquilo (relaxed), gorgeous, great weather, white sand beaches, sea turtles and even the coolest ever whale sharks. But, my take on island life is a bit more detailed than what your normal Joe Shmoe would come up with. I come from a itty bitty all women’s university that only has about 600 students, 100 faculty and about 50 horses. I am used to small communities and I have learned throughout my 4 years of college to notice every detail and make use of everything a small, close knit community has to offer.
Most people think of the tourism that Isla Mujeres has to offer, the beautiful beaches, tasty margaritas and an exotic paradise to escape your reality at home. To me, Isla Mujeres is an island FILLED with incredible Mayan history, interesting people, delicious food, the best music and a relaxed way of life. But most of all, the anthropology geek in me loves this island for it’s unique culture. I came here to indulge myself into a new way of life, to give into making a difference in the community and to the community making a difference in me. Living on a tiny island isn’t all beaches, bikinis and margaritas. I believe in the work hard, play hard motto here on the island. Yes, we do have access to the beaches and pools, drinks and fun times, however we work hard every day of the week and after hours.
Not only am I speaking on the volunteer teachers behalf, but mainly for the locals. Our neighbors, our student’s parents and even some of the students are the ones working in the hotels, the beach clubs, and the bars that tourists enjoy. The locals are the ones who work to make this island the exotic escape that it is to the tourists. Living the island life is more than an extended vacation at the beach. To me, it is about living like a local, learning their way of life and how to work hard for the better of the whole community.
Living like a local is about guessing what animal made the mystery poop on your porch. It’s about not needing to set an alarm because the Zeta Gas truck comes through the neighborhood around 7AM every morning. It’s about living with 3 strangers, hoping our internet will work for movie night and trying to figure out how to do laundry by hand. It’s about language barriers, Spanish and British! Haha. Living like a local is NEVER being on time because who knows what is slowing you down, your golf cart with a flat tire or an iguana crossing the road. It’s about getting to know your neighbors, like the tamale lady who also sells fruit at the market in the AM. It’s about learning how to make-it-work. Living like a local is a quest. It’s the quest of volunteering abroad, the quest of a new life and a new culture. It’s about making your community a better place, one wave and a “Buenos días” at a time.
Teaching abroad isn't just an inside the classroom job. It isn't just moving to another country to have fun. It isn't just "teaching English". It's changing lives. It's being a role model to these students. It's being that building block for them to be something more in their futures. It's being a new friend. VolunQuest benefits over 2,000 students on this tiny island. I have 400 students, I see them everywhere. The smile on their face when they run up and tackle me with a hug is the greatest appreciation you can receive.
Every time I travel somewhere, the saying always proves true, “time flies when you’re having fun.” A friend on facebook recently commented on a picture of mine saying, “You look so happy in every picture you post!” And I truly am. Living in Mexico has exceeded any expectation I had. I highly recommend this experience to anyone who loves children, Central America, the beach, tacos, adventures and changing lives

Default avatar
Jessica
Female
22 years old
Houston

Take caution. This organization needs to be investigated.

2/10

I wish I could give this program zero stars. Take caution in applying to volunteer for this organization. VolunQuest is irresponsible and unprofessional, the expectations for your personal life are clear -- that you have no personal life.

VolunQuest promises once-a-month VQ trips or bonding experiences, and the whole 4.5 months I was there we only went on a catamaran for the going-away party for the previous director. You will also be promised uniforms and we never once received such a thing.

Isla Mujeres is a beautiful place to give back to and live in, but please for your own good find another means of doing so. VolunQuest is a power-hungry, drama seeking organization and it is a shame they have a vision for a good cause yet they can't seem to walk the talk they advertise.

Please do your research. Nothing adds up and it seems pretty at first, but this is not a reputable or positive organization to "volunteer" for. If you want to be sure of these things, contact local businesses in Isla, and the reputation VolunQuest upholds on the island is not one to be admired. Be careful.

I was told over TEXT MESSAGE that I was being let go. VolunQuest needs to be investigated.

Default avatar
Fabian
Male
Los Angeles, CA
California State University- Long Beach

Beware, it is all a trap.

1/10

I wish I could say one nice thing about Volunquest. I ended up quitting Volunquest along with three other interns. They need to know how to treat their interns better. Volunquest is a revolving doors of interns because no one can stand working for them for too long. The housing conditions in Playa are horrible. They will tell you this is how everyone else lives, but it is all a lie. I went to other teachers houses and it is simply not the case. If more than one person has quit on you, then open your eyes and realize its not them, its you. No leadership quality. Respect is earned, not demanded. In all honestly, there are way better programs out there. I would rate Volunquest 0/10 or -10/10 if I could. In the long run, beware of this program. You will end up paying more for everything. You've been warned.

Default avatar
Britni
Female
24 years old
Orono, Maine
University of Maine- Orono (main campus)

Incredible first time volunteering abroad!

10/10

VolunQuest is an incredible program offering a rewarding experience. Although I have traveled before on vacation, this was my first experience volunteering abroad. I was placed directly in a classroom in the public schools with welcoming teachers and adorable children eager to learn English. A teacher with VolunQuest works with you on lesson plans and stays in the classroom while you teach. The director and teachers with the program are all extremely helpful and work for the success of this program.

Additionally, Isla Mujeres is a gorgeous island. Although there are many tourists, the island still a "small town" feel, with friendly people and a strong sense of security. It's not uncommon to run into a few of your students and their families while exploring the island. The tropical weather and culture may take some time to adjust to however I strongly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. My time on Isla Mujeres taught me so much about myself that I don't think I would've learned had I not gone on this trip.

How can this program be improved?

I recommend going for more than 2 weeks. It took some time for me to adjust to teaching (I had never taught before this trip) and get to know all of my students. I feel that I could have done a lot more for the program and the students if I had been there longer.

Default avatar
L
Female
24 years old
Isla Mujeres, Mexico
University of Florida

VolunQuest is unlike any other Program out there!

10/10

This was my third time teaching abroad, and I chose VQ because my last two experiences made me feel more like a profit than a person. I was trained by the director of the program, which was shocking to me since I had never even once met the director of the other programs that I had volunteered for. On top of that, Zairy, my supervisor took me around to the different schools that I would observe her in on her own moped. They both really made me feel like I was a valuable member of the team, and were with me every step of the way.

The VQ offices are set up like a teacher's lounge. There is a refrigerator and microwave, a computer station, wifi, over 1500 early learner English books that you can check out for free to bring to the schools or home with you, school supplies, a printer, projector, pretty much anything that you might need to plan a lesson and carry it out. None of the other programs I had volunteered with in the past gave us free anything. I always had to pay for my own photo copies, art supplies, everything. I never even had supervision or proper training. VolunQuest is unique.

I have decided to extend my trip and stay longer with VQ, so I still haven't received my certificate from the Ministry of Education but I have seen one. They include the full name of the internationally recognized curriculum that I was trained in PNIEB, how many hours the volunteer worked in the public schools and signatures from the director of the program, the mayor of Isla Mujeres and the Secretary of Education for the state. I put one of my last experiences on my grad school application, and was actually questioned about it. The company that I went with was just a travel agency, so it did look nearly as credible (nor was it) as an official letter of recommendation from the Ministry of Education in Mexico.

Trust me, I've done it all. There is nothing in the world like VolunQuest. And apart from truly learning something valuable and making a real difference that you can see everyday, you'll be living in paradise. Isla Mujeres was voted top ten beaches in the world this year by Tripadvisor. They have just the right mix of local culture and modern comforts. The people are kind and welcoming, the food is amazing and cheap, and the nightlife can't be beat.

How can this program be improved?

They could expand it to other parts of the world and Mexico. Even though Isla Mujeres is paradise, it would be so nice to be able to travel the world with a responsible organization like VQ. Until they do, I'll just have to keep coming back to this beautiful island.

Default avatar
Julie
Female
24 years old
Orono, Maine
University of Maine- Orono (main campus)

Teaching on Isla Mujeres

10/10

Teaching in Isla Mujeres was an amazing learning experience for me. I had never done anything so rewarding for myself, as I had teaching ESL to the students. Everyone that we worked with was incredible and helpful. The people on the island were accepting to us. I enjoyed being on the island, and you are able to fully immerse yourself in the Mexican culture. The program director was very kind in everything that she had planned for us, including dinner with the mayor, which was an honor to have attended. I am also thankful for the supervisors that helped us through the teaching process.They were very informative and helpful in the classroom. Everything that was organized for our group, I am truly thankful for. This experience was rewarding and and I would highly recommend it to other volunteers.

Default avatar
sarah
Female
24 years old
United States
University of Maine- Orono (main campus)

Isla Mujeres

10/10

Teaching for VolunQuest is one of the most incedible experiences I have had in my lifetime. Because it is a relatively new program, I didn't really know what to expect before I arrived. Once on the island I was immediately in love. There were a few hiccups with training, but I would not count that against the program. Our stay was shorter so we had a shorter training. The people in charge of this company are very dedicated to making it work and making all volunteers feel welcome and appreciated on the island. This program offers amazing opportunities to all volunteers and I feel confident in saying once you go to Isla once, you will want to return again and again.

How can this program be improved?

The program could use more English books in the library.

Default avatar
M
Female
24 years old
Maine
University of Maine- Orono (main campus)

Good Experience, but not with out its challenges

9/10

Working with Volunquest was a very rewarding experience. I highly enjoyed being with the kids on the fine island of Isla Mujeres. I loved the culture and the people there and I think part of me will always belong to the island. As far as the program goes, things had a rough start. The supervisors Heather, and Rania, were very helpful and supportive and went out of their way to make our time in the schools successful. Unfortunately, the first several days of our experience were confused and challenging because the expectations were not clearly given by management. It was frustrating to be working so hard for the kids on the island and not to know entirely what was expected of us. It seemed, at least at the beginning, that the manager did not have time to be truly present and to give us the information we needed to be successful. The supervisors were not given the correct information either. After perhaps 3 days of floundering and not knowing entirely what we should have been doing, we were provided with the curriculum and the precise expectations that Volunquest had of its teachers. From there things became exponentially better and far more rewarding. It was much easier to teach in the schools when we had a standardized plan to do so. Heather and Rania made this experience successful for me. I think I have said more than once to my classmates on this trip that "Heather is a saint." She was very patient with all of my questions and concerns and helped me to reach my full teaching potential. Although Kristen is a very intelligent and driven woman and her work on the island is invaluable, she was intimidating and demanding at first. I think this was as much a learning experience for her as it was for us. I hope she too learned how to teach others and that this experience will cause other people's experiences to be more fruitful.

How can this program be improved?

The program could be improved by having more detailed "nitty-gritty" training days before we are sent to work in the schools. In addition, I would say it could be improved by a more openness between management and volunteers and having clear expectations for the get go.

Default avatar
Taylah
Female
24 years old
Maine
University of Maine- Orono (main campus)

Isla Mujeres 2014

10/10

More training could have been offered, but luckily everything worked out fine. We were here to teach the children, but we also learned a lot. It was one of the best experiences in my life and I would definitely do it again.

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I would change is to have more training at first.

Default avatar
Ellina
Female
19 years old
California

An exceptional experience

10/10

From the feeling of safety to the great outdoor activities that its location has to offer to the amazing learning experience of working in the classroom to the kindness and warmth of my host family, this program provided me with an altogether exceptional experience!

A unique, sustainable program with incredible potential!

Default avatar
Julie
Female
42 years old
Greensboro, NC
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill

Isla Mujeres' main income is from tourism. Therefore they NEED to know English.

9/10

The ladies that run Volunquest are great. They are very helpful and easily accessible. They want to make sure that you have everything you need and also have a good time while you are on the gorgeous island. Isla Mujeres has tourists from all over the world and English is often times the language that connects everyone together. The children will have much greater opportunities making a living here if they are taught English. They are fantastic and so eager to learn that they even spend their 30 minute snack break in the library learning more English.

How can this program be improved?

They need to put a fan in the library because it is extremely hot. There is no a/c in the schools. Also, they could use some more books that are in both English and Spanish.

About The Provider

Thumbnail

VolunQuest offers the unique opportunity to teach English in the public primary schools of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Our volunteers are all professionally trained, supervised and given a letter of participation from the Secretary of Education of the state of Quintana Roo. VolunQuest also offers a

Read more...